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Sales Tax on Cremations
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The following legal opinion is provided by NYSVMS Board Counsel Barbara Ahern, Esq.

Section 1115 of the New York State Tax Law provides that: Services rendered by a veterinarian licensed and registered as required by the education law which constitutes the practice of veterinary medicine as defined in said law, including hospitalization for which no separate boarding charge is made, shall not be subject to tax under paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of section eleven hundred five [imposition of sales and use taxes], but the exemption allowed by this subdivision shall not apply to other services provided by a veterinarian to pets and other animals, including, but not limited to, boarding, grooming and clipping.

Regulations promulgated by the Tax Department provide a description of the specific provisions in the tax law relating to sales tax in the veterinary practice. 


20 NYCRR Part 528.24 (Tax Department regulations) provides the following explanation of the sales tax exemption applicable to a veterinary practice. 


(1) The exception is allowed for services rendered by a licensed veterinarian which constitute the practice of veterinary medicine, including hospitalization for which no separate boarding charge is made.


(2) The exemption is not applicable to other services provided by a veterinarian, including but not limited to boarding, grooming, and clipping...

(b) Definitions.


(1) Practice of veterinary medicine. Section 6701 of the Education Law defines the practice of the profession of veterinary medicine as diagnosing, treating, operating, or prescribing for any animal disease, pain, injury, deformity or physical condition. Animal includes every living creature except human beings.


Cremation of an animal does not meet the definition of the practice of veterinary medicine and is not a service performed on a living animal.

It is not, therefore, covered under the sales tax exemption that applies to services that do not constitute the practice of veterinary medicine.


Sales tax must be charged.

Veterinary Practice Management

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